Brand game of the week: Dirty Dancing
Like it or not, there’s no escaping the fact that Dirty Dancing is one of the classic films of the 1980s. Its art might be questionable, but its appeal is without doubt. The film's Facebook page has 10.9 million fans, placing it the 9th most popular film Facebook page. (I’ve had) The Time of My Life from the film’s soundtrack has become a wedding reception and school disco staple, and despite a lacklustre sequel (Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights) the Dirty Dancing franchise has survived to become a successful stage musical.
How does the brand fit? Characters and situations are lifted straight from the original film. Patrick Swayze pops up to guide you through the various challenges and tasks in the game. Kellerman’s resort was the setting of the original film, and there are musical stings of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, including its most famous song. We played for a bit, but there was no sign of Jennifer Grey.
Is it any good? In a word, no. The world of Kellerman’s resort is depicted in the blocky graphics style of Habbo Hotel, but it’s almost impossible to understand what is going on. The tutorial cracks along through the different functions at such a pace that you end up just clicking your mouse wherever Patrick Swayze tells you. On our second attempt, Swayze was less helpful and we couldn’t work out what we were supposed to be doing. Sometimes you earn money, sometimes you earn watermelons, occasionally you end up building something and at one point we accidentally put on a dance.
Verdict: Brand fit 5/10 Game play 3/10. A colourful mess that makes little sense and lots of noise. Continuous snatches of ‘Time of my life’ don’t help matters much. It’s never quite clear what the idea of the game is nor how one progresses through it. It seems ridiculous that a game bearing the Dirty Dancing name involves so little dancing. Lionsgate score points for choosing to produce a game to capitalise on the film's online popularity, but the execution is rubbish.